Black Tie Preferred

Are you one of those people that love to get dressed up and go to fancy balls? Me? Not so much. I thought balls only existed in Cinderella’s world, but recently my husband and I were invited to go to one.  The “Presidents Ball” no less, but before you get excited for me, it was not to meet Obama.  No, this was a Presidents Ball to meet the president of a local golf club.  A golf club that we are not members of as neither of us actually play golf, and trust me, the world is better for it!

Our tickets to the ball came from my bonus daughter and her boyfriend.  We had gone to their place for dinner a couple of weeks prior and someone casually asked us if we would like to go to this “dinner” at the club with them.  No big deal.  Well, anyone who knows me knows that after a couple of glasses of wine, I will agree to almost anything, the only problem is that I rarely remember exactly what I’ve agreed to.  And so that is why a couple of days before the event I was still completely unaware of it.  Luckily I had a reminder phone call late Thursday evening.  The ball was Saturday.

“How fancy is this thing?” I enquired.

“Oh, well…it’s no big deal, but you probably shouldn’t wear jeans,” was the first response.

Then she read out the invitation to me over the phone.  The honor of your presence is requested at the Belair Golf and Country Club, blah blah blah, meet the new President, blah blah blah, black tie preferred…

“WHAT?! Stop! Did you just say black tie preferred?”

“Oh…um, huh, I never saw that before…jeez good thing I read it out to you now.”

“I’ll say! There is quite a difference from “you probably shouldn’t wear jeans to black tie preferred!”

This is when I did a mental inventory of our (vacation home) bedroom closet.  One black dress that I haven’t worn in a year or two, but it might do.  Appropriate shoes? No, but there is time to get some. Ok, I might be ok.  Over to Johns side of the closet.  T-shirts, check.  Shorts, check. Jeans, check. Suit, nope. Tuxedo, definitely not.  This is going to be a problem.

The search for something appropriate for John to wear began.  Phone calls were made and suit jackets, dress pants and even one tuxedo were all on their way.  I tried on my little black dress only to discover that it was not so little and fit me like a potato sack.  I briefly considered adding some darts and taking it in along a seam or two when reality hit me and I remembered I’m not even that good at hemming pants let alone altering a whole dress.

No fairy godmother appeared with a new dress, so off I went to the closest discount clothing store to see what I could find.  I’m not going to go into great detail here but I will say that I found John a nice pair of black dress shoes for only $37…and my own new little black dress, high heels, clutch purse and fake diamond necklace and earrings, all came to about the same.  I rock!

I was feeling pretty stoked until I heard that one person in our party would be wearing a dress that cost $1000 and $350 shoes.  Instant deflate.  I’m going to look like little orphan Annie next to her, I thought.  I imagined that as soon as I walked into the golf club men and women would all stop talking and stare at me with pity.  Someone would whisper, “Oh, look at that poor woman in her $40 ensemble.  How sad.”

When we were finally ready to go, limousine idling in our driveway, my sweet husband told me I looked like a million bucks.  And after making sure all the tell tale price tags were snipped and gone, I relaxed into the evening feeling like I could pull it all off with ease.  What really mattered was that the handsome man next to me thought I looked great.

It turns out we blended right in to all the black and glitter and enjoyed a lovely evening.  I didn’t lose a shoe and even made it home by midnight, arm in arm with my prince.

The End.


  • Tracy Westerholm

    Sigh…awwwww…even bigger sigh! I love that you are so in love! That is the best gift I could get, to see my Best friend be truly in love with her man, and what a man I might add! I bet John looked just the part as well! You would both look just as great together adorning potato sacks!

    Thanks for the smile you put on my face this morning Bon! I will carry it with me all day….

  • jacquie

    Bonnie, I bet all the guests were wondering who the lovely lady with the warm, engaging smile was when you entered the room. I love that you kept it real and didn’t succumb to pressure when you found yourself in this predicament. I know you could have gone out and dropped serious buckage on a new outfit but it wasn’t a priority so you didn’t. That’s so cool : )
    I want to see photos! I don’t doubt for a second you looked like a million $$$’s. It’s amazing what can be found in ‘op shops’ (opportunity, as they’re known in some parts) and the like.
    Sounds like you had a fun night!
    And the best accessory is always a confident smile…

  • Lawrence

    Very funny, Bonnie! I loved this piece. I do love to get all dressed up but jeans are much more preferred. An art exhibit with ‘dress’ jeans would be a preferred fancy evening out but black tie from time to time is okay too.

    ‘You probably don’t want to wear jeans.’ lol Cute.

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